Law, Norms, and Regulation

This research programme focuses on legal, judicial, and regulatory phenomena, institutions, and practices as a means to analyse our society’s social, organisational, and economic logics and transformations. Research within the programme examines the ways in which law structures organisations (both public and private, national and supranational) as well as labour, knowledge, health, professions, and modes of economic governance in general. Researchers also investigate the ways in which each of these institutions, organisations, and fields of practice contribute to, – or avoid or resist, informally or explicitly – the functioning of the law and its institutions.

While remaining in contact with the work carried out at the CSO during the 1980s and 1990s, which analysed judicial institutions through the lens of organisational sociology, this research programme considers law, the justice system, and regulatory processes from a wider angle. It enquires into objects (rules, standards, laws, etc.), actors (law professionals, intermediaries, laypeople), and processes (of regulation, governance, negotiation, and empowerment). The programme takes into account not only the polynormative framework of practices and the public policies that are formulated through law, but also those practices that sidestep the law and those actors who refer to and use it in order to dominate, submit, protest, or resist, be it within a judicial framework or no.

If we consider that “The Law Is All Over…”, to borrow from Austin Sarat’s famous article, then this research programme can be said to cover a great many domains.

Programme directors: Claire Lemercier and Jérôme Pélisse.


  • Law, work, and labour relations
  • Law and social movements
  • Mobilisation (or lack thereof) of the law in firms
  • International tribunals and globalisation
  • Litigiousness and judicialisation
  • Professionals, legal intermediaries, and laypersons
  • Forms of regulation and the boundaries of the State
Back to top